Iowa Public Television


Not-so nut-so idea

posted on December 28, 2001

Chestnuts grown in the U.S.? Are you "nuts?"

In a not-so nut-so move, entrepreneurs across the northern Midwest are starting to recapture part of the chestnut market.

In 1904, 3.5-billion chestnut trees were destroyed by a blight that piggybacked on an imported tree. Since then, U.S. growers have been looking for an antidote.

Almost 100 years later, that antidote has come in the form of a blight-resistant Chinese hybrid. Now, domestic sales of everything from flats-of-plants to bags-of-nuts are surging higher.

Besides putting a native species back into production, farmers are looking to recapture a portion of the $20-million dollar a year import market.

Tags: chestnuts food news nuts